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Former student of Mike Nichols stole hundreds of thousands from mother, authorities charge

Photo Credit: Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office
Photo Credit: Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office
Photo Credit: Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office
Photo Credit: Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office
Photo Credit: Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office
Video Credit: YouTube

ONLY ON CLIFFVIEW PILOT (WITH VIDEO) : A former student of entertainment giant Mike Nichols — and a member of Bergen Community College’s Alumni Board of Directors — is accused of ripping off more than $330,000 from his mother, including the proceeds of a fraudulent sale of her New York City co-op to Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s chief negotiator in Albany, CLIFFVIEW PILOT has found.


Jefferson Spady (MUGSHOT COURTESY Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office)

Meet Jefferson J. Spady of Englewood, a 45-year-old former music video director who, investigators say, abused his power of attorney to suck his mother’s assets dry.

Spady, a onetime middle school teacher who also serves on the alumni board of Riverdale Country Day Schoo l in New York, can tell his version of the story to a judge after being arrested this morning by detectives from the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office .

And he has quite a history.

From 1996-2003, Spady was a writer/producer for the PBS series “ P.O.V./The American Documentary ,” records show.

He also directed music videos and commercials, has worked with Academy Award-winning director Barbara Kopple on two of her films, and claims to have attended Columbia University, Vassar College, and Riverdale Country School, CLIFFVIEW PILOT has learned.

Google profile BCC photo



Investigators worked off a tip from the New Jersey Office of the Ombudsman that Frieda Spady — whom CLIFFVIEW PILOT determined was once an Englewood psychiatrist who now lives in Park Ridge — had been taken to the cleaners by her son, Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said.

“An examination of Frieda Spady’s bank accounts indicated that Jefferson Spady had taken $15,243.00 in cash advances and had also made $9,249.00 in debit purchases from her account and used the funds and purchases for his own benefit,” Molinelli said.

Co-op Spady sold to Gov. Bloomberg’s aide was in this W. 56th Street building

In addition, CLIFFVIEW PILOT has learned that young Mr. Spady oversaw the $640,000 sale of his mom’s West 56th Street Manhattan co-op to Micah C. Lasher, now 28 and appointed earlier this year as Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s Director of State Legislative Affairs, in 2005. After expenses, Spady pocketed $276,195.48 that Molinelli said he used “to pay for child day care for his son.”

He didn’t stop there, though, the prosecutor said.

Forging his brothers’ signatures, the married Spady “borrowed” $28,000 from his mother’s life insurance policy, dropped it into his bank account and spent it, Molinelli said.

Mike Nichols

His two brothers “had no knowledge what Jefferson had done,” the prosecutor said.

Spady remains free on bail pending grand jury action.

“I began my career directing “Live-to-Air” talk shows for Time Warner Cable TV in New York — a great way to start, as it kept me on my toes,” Spady wrote on his Google resume. He worked on the 1996 documentary, “ Taking on the Kennedys ,” about Rhode Island Republican candidate Kevin Vigilante’s 1994 bid for U.S. Congress against Patrick Kennedy.

“I began screenwriting in 1999 and was fortunate to have great mentors like director Mike Nichols at The New Actors Workshop. In 2001 a Tobias Wolff adaptation I collaborated on won the top honors ($1M production grant) at the Hypnotic Film Festival, underwritten by Universal Studios.”

Among the music videos that Spady has directed is The Daou’s “Surrender Yourself,” shot on location in Brooklyn and Central Park:

He also was a camera man on Annie Lennox’s “ Live In Central Park ” TV special, now on DVD.

Spady said he wrote and produced a 2007 documentary, ‘The Fall of ’01′: A Test of Faith,” about the WTC recovery effort after 9/11.”

“I began teaching Earth Science part-time to middle-school students in 2008,” he added. “I’ve also produced educational talk shows with U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (NY) and former U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson in 2006.

“I currently work as a Web Producer and Consultant, specializing in Social Media for non-profit, educational, corporate and individual clients.”

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